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A study released earlier this month by the North Carolina Arts Council shows that cultural travelers to the state spend nearly a third more than the national average and almost twice the per-day spending of general travelers to the state.
Wednesday, 02 November 2005 00:00

Recommended diversions

Wild animal sightings I was driving in Francis Cove near Waynesville before sunrise one day last week.
Wednesday, 02 November 2005 00:00

Maggie Valley candidates preach unity

Town board, pick three
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Mayor, pick one
Something is out of joint in the little fishing village of Bareneed on the coast of Newfoundland. The rules that govern reality (natural laws) appear to have been suspended. It began with the flying fish. Of course, no one actually…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Mayor, pick one
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Mayor, pick one
Wednesday, 02 November 2005 00:00

Challengers say changes are needed

Mayor running unopposed • Jerry Walker, 69, retired from Blue Ridge Paper Products engineering and maintenance. Part-time security at Blue Ridge Paper Products.
Wednesday, 02 November 2005 00:00

Bryson City challengers running as a team

Mayor — pick one
Wednesday, 02 November 2005 00:00

Sylva to get newcomers on board

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Some might call Sylva’s upcoming town board and mayoral races an election of attrition.
Wednesday, 02 November 2005 00:00

More than armchair historians

Every regular reader of this column has an interest in this region’s history. But most of us are, more or less, armchair historians. We mostly read books or watch documentaries produced either on TV or as videos. We might, from…
Wednesday, 02 November 2005 00:00

We are amusing ourselves to death

When I am at home, the TV is usually on. I like the company, and since I am almost deaf, I don’t hear the constant yammer, clang and whistle, complete with musical interludes and the smarmy good will of the…
The experimental elk reintroduction into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park should be given every chance to succeed. If that means an additional release of more elk, then park biologists and state wildlife officials need to work cooperatively to help…
Wednesday, 02 November 2005 00:00

To elk or not to elk

By the time this column hits the streets (11/2), the results from two public meetings regarding the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s experimental elk release will be known. The park is proposing extending the experiment for two years and bringing…
Wednesday, 02 November 2005 00:00

A view from above

Editor’s note: The Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, a regional environmental group, took the Smoky Mountain News on an aerial tour of the seven western counties last month. The group’s goal was to convey their perspective on threats facing the changing…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Lunchtime at Smoky Mountain High School is like a swarm of orderly locusts, as students hold our their plates for tongs full of French fries and hot dogs covered with a hearty helping of…
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

Public weighs in on methane project

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Planning for Jackson CountyÕs landfill gas recovery project continued last week with a series of three public input meetings held to garner ideas and answer questions about the venture.
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

Poetic license never hurts a good tale

Accounts of events always vary, especially when one is supposedly factual and one is admittedly fictional. Here's an instance.
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

Press, newsgatherers get special powers in U.S.

I'm sure my paranoia was partly flamed by the buzz about the case of the CIA operative whose name was leaked to the media by Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, with many still suspecting - and even more…
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

Summer's gone, but not forgotten

By John Beckman • Columnist The summer now seems long gone and autumn is headed in the same direction as evidenced by frosty winds, the re-opening of the forest canopy and the browning hulls of walnuts and hickories under foot.…
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

The Naturalist's Corner

Endangered Species Act Threatened A California cowboy is trying to hobble the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Congressman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), head of the House Resources Committee has herded his Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 through the US…
By Michael Beadle Journey back to Christmas Eve, December 1941. The United States has just entered World War II after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, and emotions run high as families say goodbye to their sons, who must go off…
The Blue Ridge Parkway plans to build a visitor center outside Asheville in coming years that will provide information on the Parkway and become a tourist outpost for all of Western North Carolina.
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

Bound Away - a great piece of work

By Chris Cooper Eric Brace writes damn fine songs. His band Last Train Home plays these songs pretty damn well, too. Heck, Mr. Brace does some great stuff with the songs he didn't write, as well. Bound Away is such…
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

Recommended diversions

Schoolhouse Rock Growing up on mindless hours of Saturday morning cartoons, I never knew how much fun parts of speech could be. But, lo and behold, I still have the songs of Schoolhouse Rock stuck in my head as living…
This week letÕs peruse three unrelated books whose only commonality lies in the fact that they were either written by Southerners or were published in the South. The first is an interesting volume about Christmas in America, which might be…
By Michael Beadle By the end of the 19th Century, the once powerful Russian aristocracy was crumbling, and playwright Anton Chekhov knew it. His plays, which he called comedies, portray an upper class bored and frustrated with their lives but…
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

Zoro's Field wins state non-fiction prize

Author Thomas Rain Crowe has been selected to receive the 2005 Ragan Old North State Award for his naturalist-based work ZoroÕs Field.
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

Cell tower proposal splits White Oak neighbors

Two Cingular cell towers proposed for the White Oak and Panther Creek communities - a rugged and rural part of Haywood County near the Tennessee line - pitted neighbor against neighbor at a public hearing Monday night (Nov. 7).
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

Community activist faces embezzlement charges

A well-known Waynesville community leader has been charged with embezzling a $15,000 donation made to the Pigeon Community Development Club for a playground by the Waynesville Kiwanis Club.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jackson County residents will continue to suffer the bang and the clatter of a burgeoning construction industry, as commissioners voted down a request Monday night (Nov. 7) to revisit the county's noise ordinance and…
Wednesday, 09 November 2005 00:00

Dealing with strays a hit or miss affair in Swain

Every Monday morning, Justin Mack roles through the Swain County dispatch office to pick up a list of the week's most-wanted before heading out for a day of bounty hunting.
Jesse Wills, a local artist who has autism, will present his paintings at an art show at Hardwood Gallery at 102 N. Main Street in Waynesville beginning Nov. 19. The show will open with a gallery reception/benefit from 6 to…
By Michael Beadle On pedestals they stand. Whimsical arrangements of colored glass bottles, leaning, bending to resemble animated statues caught in the push and pull of conversation. These plastic forms look like baby bottles brought to life, acting out some…
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

CYHSY makes their own way

By Joe Hooten Popular music is made trendy by sweaty handshakes, neon dollar signs, shady deals, and artificial relationships that become an entangled web of companies, corporations, and conglomerates pushing what they deem as marketable in hopes of making a…
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

Recommended diversions

Jack Russells I was surprised to discover that Jack Russell terriers bear the name of a 19th century English clergyman (Devon) who bred foxhounds and shorthaired terriers. Well, my dog (Jack) has never seen a fox, but he is acquainted…
In The Three Sisters, Anton Chekhov tells audiences that suffering, education and work will lay the foundation for a new Russia. Or as Chekhov might put it: Suffering! Education! Work! For in scene after scene, this play depicts the old…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The crowd held its breath, barely shifting in creaky metal chairs as a stunned, uncomfortable silence settled like fog around their ankles with the ending of “The Tragedy of Glady.”
By Michael Beadle It’s no secret the “War in Iraq” is not going well. Even the most optimistic reports show the continuing violence as suicide bombers attack civilians and Iraqi military after the country’s historic constitutional referendum.
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

Finding wetlands in the most unlikely places

As Mickey Henson waded into a brambly thicket bordering a town park in Sylva, he stopped a few steps in, bent down and retrieved a single blade of grass, plucked and displayed between the thumb and forefinger above his head…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The Forest Hills mayoral election came down to the flip of a coin Tuesday morning (Nov. 15) as candidates Jim Davis and Sue Burton sought to settle a tied vote.
The boards of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce and Maggie Valley Visitor Center and Convention Bureau met last week to discuss the prospect of joining forces.
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

Seeing nature through new eyes

When Mickey Henson looks at a creek, he sees a physics equation.
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

Macon residents worried about devlopment

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer A long-range study that analyzed perceptions about the mountain landscape among Macon County residents has been released, revealing striking statistics that will shape the region’s future.
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

HCC has new president

Dr. Rose Harrell Johnson, currently working for the Virginia Community College system, has been appointed president of Haywood Community College.
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

Requiem for a heavyweight

The eastern hemlock has long been one of my favorite trees. Like many people reading this column, my wife, Elizabeth, and I have a number of very large specimens growing on our property, especially alongside a creek that traverses the…
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

Contemplating the end of Eden

“At times I think there are no words But these to tell what’s true And there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden.” — Bob Dylan (“The Gates of Eden”), For Michael Davitt and Sam Gray, in memory
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

The job’s done, now it’s time to leave

By Lee Shelton • Guest Columnist The U.S. recently incurred — and then quickly exceeded — the 2,000th casualty in Operation Iraqi Freedom. At this writing, it is 2,055, and climbing.
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

Who’s dying in Iraq?

Seventy-five percent of the deaths were active duty and 24.8 percent were National Guard or Reserves. Of these, 67.9 percent were Army, 29.1 percent were Marines (Marines only comprise 9.8 percent of the total U.S. military force, thus they are…
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

Paying the price – a parents’ weekend at WCU

By Nancy Geiger • Guest Columnist I went to my first college parent’s weekend this month. I’d been to plenty as a student, but this year, it was my turn to play the role of parent, and as I was…